Today, nearly 200,000 Brits get migraines daily; equating to 6 million of us experiencing debilitating symptoms every year. With a wide spectrum of over-the-counter medications on offer, those living with migraines can be left overwhelmed and unsure of the best treatment. Ahead of Migraine Awareness Week on September 5th-14th, LloydsPharmacy provides their expert tips for alternative ways to treat pain.
LloydsPharmacy expert pharmacist, Anshu Kaura, says: “Migraines can be extremely debilitating, causing pain, nausea, and visual disturbances, which have a big impact on the quality of life of those who experience symptoms. They can also leave many at a loss of how best to treat them and what pain methods work best for them.
“With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming where to start. There are of course the more traditional routes of using over the counter medication – such as ibuprofen – to treat symptoms quickly, however, there are other options also available. With a growing interest in drug-free medication, we recently launched a Migraine pain Reliever TENS Machine*, which is a great alternative for cost-effective and non-invasive pain relief.
“Unlike traditional painkillers, relief from the TENS machine can last for hours and, if you need to apply again, you can do so. It can also be used in conjunction with other pain relief drugs to help manage migraine symptoms. If your pain continues however, you should seek medical advice from your doctor or in-store pharmacist.”
What are migraines and how do we get them?
There are common misconceptions of migraines compared to headaches. Most people don’t realize there are various forms from stress and tension headaches to migraine auras and ocular and vestibular migraines. The most common symptoms of migraines include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. Factors that come into play when it comes to what triggers migraine can be due to :
- Lack of sleep
- High stress levels
- Sudden changes in weather
- Skipping meals
- Intolerances to certain food or alcohol consumption
5 Top tips to if you are experiencing a migraine:
1- Find a calm environment
If you feel signs of a migraine coming on, it’s a good idea to take a break from what you’re doing and rest in a dark room. Make sure all your phones, tablets or laptops are off before you go to bed to give your mind time to relax. Turning off your electronics can also help reduce the blue light they emit which can disrupt the production of melatonin and keep you awake.
2- Think about what you’re eating
Migraines can often be triggered by what we eat and drink, so keeping a food diary can be very helpful when tackling regular headaches or migraines. Drinks that contain caffeine, along with alcohol, or some specific foods, such as citrus fruit, can all be triggers to bear in mind
3- Keep hydrated
This might seem simple, but many find it difficult to keep on top of their hydration. Dehydration is a key trigger for headaches and migraines, so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day.
4- Try to avoid and manage stress
Stress is also a common trigger that you might experience, but unfortunately something that we often can’t avoid. Some suggestions to better manage stress include keeping work at work – don’t be tempted to work long hours into the evenings. Mindful meditation can also help you to relax and take your attention from anxious thoughts or focusing on your pain.
5- Alternative pain medication
Pain medication doesn’t always work, and people can feel frustrated finding alternative solutions. With a growing interest in drug-free medicine, the LloydsPharmacy migraine TENS machine* is a cost-effective way to help provide pain relief in a non-invasive and drug-free way, with replaceable sticky pads that can be purchased alongside the device.
Migraine Pain Relief Products to Ease A Splitting Headache
Was £79.99 now £39.99
Small enough to carry on the go, the device can also be used at home to help manage and relieve migraines. The migraine reliever has three pre-set programs; two to help treat pain and the third to help reduce the frequency of future episodes. The Migraine-relieving TENS machine is a drug-free solution to help manage migraine symptoms. It’s also rechargeable and reusable, offering various quick and effective levels of intensity to suit pain-relieving needs. Available in a compact and portable size, it can also be used at home or on-the-go.
Featuring a neurostimulator, the device uses Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) to relieve pain. When applied to the forehead using the self-adhesive electrode positioned bilaterally over the upper branches of the trigeminal nerve, the migraine TENS stimulates the nerve endings in the forehead to help treat pain in the head area.
The LloydsPharmacy Ibuprofen 200mg capsules offer up to 12 hours of relief from headaches, fever, migraine, backache as well as cold and flu symptoms. This long-lasting pain relief may help those suffering with migraines to lessen the painful symptoms.
Nurofen max strength migraine pain caplets provide targeted pain relief from migraines. Designed to break down in the body quickly, these caplets get to the source of the pain quickly and effectively.
Was £3.39 now £2.54
Ready to use straight out of the box with no need for refrigeration, the Kool ‘n’ Soothe gel sheet provides up to eight hours of cooling relief. Kool ‘n’ Soothe Migraine sheets should be used at the first sign of migraine to help with pain relief.
*Not suitable for use during pregnancy or labor, or if you suspect you may be pregnant. Not suitable for people with pacemakers or other implanted medical devices or for people with heart rhythm problems. Not suitable without supervision for children under 16 years of age. Cancer patients, people with diabetes or epilepsy should seek medical advice before using this product.
Want to get a better sleep? Check out these 6 Bedtime Fails Tarnishing Your Sleep Patterns.